James Harper Prowse

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The Honourable
James Harper Prowse Jr.
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
February 5, 1945 – August 17, 1948
Constituency Army
In office
August 17, 1948 – June 18, 1959
Serving with Clayton Adams, Lou Heard, Elmer Roper, Ernest Manning, Harold Tanner, Edgar Gerhart, Joseph Ross and Abe Miller
Preceded by Norman James, John Page and William J. Williams
Succeeded by District abolished
Constituency Edmonton
Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party
In office
June 26, 1947 – 1958
Preceded by Wesley Stambaugh
Succeeded by Grant MacEwan
Canadian Senator
In office
February 24, 1966 – September 27, 1976
Constituency Edmonton, Alberta
Personal details
Born November 3, 1913
Taber, Alberta
Died September 27, 1976(1976-09-27) (aged 62)
Political party Alberta Liberal
federal Liberal
Other political
affiliations
Independent
Occupation politician, lawyer and service man
Military service
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Royal Canadian Army
Years of service 1940–1945
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War II

James Harper Prowse Jr. (November 3, 1913 – September 27, 1976), was a serviceman, provincial and federal politician, barrister and solicitor from Canada. Prowse served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1945 to 1959 sitting as an independent and a Liberal in opposition. He led the Alberta Liberal Party from 1948 to 1958 and later served as a senator for Alberta from 1966 until his death in 1976.

Early life[edit]

James Harper Prowse Jr. was born in Taber, Alberta, on November 3, 1913. He took his post secondary education at the University of Alberta.

World War II[edit]

Prowse enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1940. He served five years overseas during the Second World War, obtaining the rank of captain. Prowse served most of the war in the Italian Campaign. He was wounded twice during combat. His army career ended after he was elected to the Alberta Legislature in the 1945 Service vote.[1]

Provincial politics[edit]

Prowse was introduced to politics at a young age when his father, James Harper Prowse Sr., ran for a seat to the Alberta Legislature in the 1926 Alberta general election in the electoral district of Taber.[2]

Prowse ran for a seat to the legislature for the first time in the 1945 serviceman vote that was the last stage of the general election held that year. Prowse ran as a candidate in the army vote. He won the polls with 17% of the popular vote over 21 other candidates on February 5, 1945. The vote was non-partisan so Prowse sat as an independent in the legislature.[3]

After winning election and returning to Edmonton Prowse became a journalist for the Edmonton Bulletin.[4] Prowse crossed the floor to the Liberals after announcing his intention to run for leadership of the party on April 10, 1947. He defended his decision by saying, "The political situation has reached a point where there is no longer any advantage to be gained by remaining neutral."[5]

Prowse was elected as leader of the party at the Liberals' annual convention on June 26, 1947. He won the required majority on the first ballot.[1] The convention was well attended with 476 delegates from around the province voting. He defeated two other candidates, Jonathan Wheatly and Joseph Tremblay.[6]

The serviceman seats were abolished due to the end of the Second World War. Prowse decided to contest a seat in the Edmonton electoral district for the 1948 Alberta general election. He won taking the fourth-place seat out of five in the district.[7] Province-wide Prowse led the Liberal party to two seats including his and took 17% of the popular vote.

Prowse ran for a third term in office in the 1952 Alberta general election. He won the second-place seat in Edmonton.[8] Province-wide Prowse led the Liberals to four seats and increased the popular vote to 22%.

Prowse led the Liberal party into his final term as leader in the 1955 Alberta general election. The Liberals made a big breakthrough winning 15 seats in the province and taking 31% of the popular vote. Prowse once again kept his seat in Edmonton winning the second-place seat.[9]

Prowse stepped down as leader of the provincial Liberal party in 1958 and did not run for another term in office at dissolution of the assembly in 1959. He moved to the municipal arena making a bid for mayor of Edmonton in the 1959 Edmonton municipal election. He finished a close second in the four way race losing to Elmer Roper.[10]

Federal politics[edit]

Prowse ran for a seat to the Canadian House of Commons for the first time in the 1962 federal election in the electoral district of Edmonton West as a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada. He finished a close second out of four candidates, losing to incumbent Marcel Lambert and finishing ahead of former Member of Parliament Orvis Kennedy.[11]

The minority parliament was dissolved less than a year later precipitating the need for the 1963 federal election. Prowse ran for his second time in a near rerun of the first race. Both Lamber and Prowse increased their popular votes, but Prowse still finished a close second.[12]

Prowse was appointed to the Canadian Senate on the advice of Prime Minister Lester Pearson in 1967 where he represented Edmonton until his death on September 27, 1976.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Liberal Leader". Vol 54. No. 231. Winnipeg Free Press. June 26, 1947. p. 1. 
  2. ^ "Taber Official Results 1926 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Two Calgarians Win Elections For Servicemen". Calgary Herald. February 6, 1945. p. 2. 
  4. ^ "Alberta Liberal Leader". Vol XL No. 164. The Lethbridge Herald. June 26, 1947. p. 4. 
  5. ^ "Prowse is Candidate for Liberal Leader". Vol XL No. 99. The Lethbridge Herald. April 10, 1947. p. 1. 
  6. ^ "Return Safe Stable Govt. Prowse Aim". Vol XL No. 164. The Lethbridge Herald. June 26, 1947. p. 1. 
  7. ^ "Edmonton Official Results 1948 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Edmonton Official Results 1952 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Edmonton Official Results 1955 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Election Results 1945 - 2007". City of Edmonton. p. 33. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Edmonton West Election Results". Parliament of Canada. June 18, 1962. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Edmonton West Election Results". Parliament of Canada. April 8, 1963. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ James Harper Prowse – Parliament of Canada biography

External links[edit]